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Full text of "In a garden, and other poems"

Bid 

13 





Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924013212927 



IN A GARDEN 

AND OTHER POEMS 



CONTENTS. 



TO MY TOTEM 



IN A GARDEN 



What is the world trying to say? . 

You came, the vernal equinox 

Green leaves panting for joy with the great wind 

rushing through .... 
Sick and sullen and sad the slow ^ays go 
May-month is dawning .... 
O faithless heart, for once, for once believe 
Roses white and pink and red 
What sound is that home on the breeze . 
When first I loved, 'twas not your eyes . 
In the eaves a swallow cri'th 
In all my borders I my true love seek 
Dearest, these household cares remit 
Thro' the open windows come 
With dreams the sunbeams steep . 
'Tis April, but the drought of March 
O happy garden, in May air . 
Rose and lUy, white and red. 

S0N68 AND SONNETS 

Barbara ... 

Song . ... 

The Night Watches 



Page 
ix 

3 
3 

i 
5 
5 
6 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
10 
12 
13 
13 

19 



23 
24 
25 



TO MY TOTEM 
" Sub tegmine f agi." 

Tsmame of old was' great ; 

What though sov/r critics teach 
The beech by the Shaian gate 

Was not, alas, a beech ; 
That sweet Theocrittis 

The ilex loved, not thee ? — 
These are made gloriovs 

Throtigh thy name, glorious tree. 

Our singers love thee too. 

In GhawxT^s liquid verse 
Are set thy praises due, 

The ages but rehearse : 
Though later poets bring 

Their homage still, and I, 
The least of those who sing, 

Thy name would magnify. 

For long ojgo my si/res. 
Ere Hengist crossed the sea 

To map our English shires. 
Gave up their hea/rt to thee, 
b 



DEDICATION 

And vowed if thou wotddstlkeep 
Their lives from fire and foe, 

Thou too shouldst never weep 
The axe's deadly blow. 

Thou hast my heart to-day : 

Whether in June I sit 
And watch the leaves at play, 

The flickering shadows flit ; 
Or whether when leaves fall 

And red the autumn mould, 
I pace the woodland hall 

Thy stately trunks uphold. 



IN A GARDEN 



What is the world trying to say 1 
Why is the light so tender and grey — 
Why are the tremulous leaves a-sway 
On the trees new fledge with the faintest green? 
Nay, he were wise who could say what these things 
mean, 

and teU the secret of May. 

What is my heart trying to say 1 
Why does it tremble and hurry and stay 
At the sight of a leaf on a sunny day. 
Of a leaf tho' never so delicate-green ? 
Nay, he were wise who could say what these things 
mean, 

and tell the secret of May. 



You came, the vernal equinox 
Brought on the solstice in a day ; 

Crocuses in their beds of box 
Straight changed to tulips, striped and gay. 



IN A GARDEN 

You went, and summer fled with you ; 

'Twas autumn, nay 'twas winter here ; 
Cold winds drove snow-clouds up the blue 

And bared the disenchanted year. 

Idly I mourn, or idly go 

Thro' all the wan dishevelled place, 
In hope some one red rose may blow 

The harbinger of your sweet face. 



III. 

Green leaves panting for joy with the great wind 

rushing through : 
A burst of the sun from cloud and a sparkle on 

valley and hill, 
Gold on the corn, and red on the poppy, and on 

the rill 
Silver, and over all white clouds afloat in the blue. 

Swallows that dart, a lark unseen, innumerous song 
Chirruped and twittered, a lowing of cows in the 

meadow grass. 
Murmuring gnats, and bees that suck their honey 

and pass : 
God is alive, and at work in the world :— we did 

it wrong. 



IN A GARDEN 5 

Human eyes, and human hands, and a human face 
Darkly beheld before in a vision, not understood : — 
Do I at last begin to feel as I stand and gaze 
Why God waited for this, then called the world 
very good 1 



IV. 

Sick and sullen and sad the slow days go ; 
Fog creeps over the land, and frost and snow 
Grip on the springs of joy and stop their flow. 

Yet at thy voice, beloved, the ice to-day 
Felt the ardours of Spring, and fell away, 
Bubbled again and sang with the joy of May. 



V. 

May-month is dawning. 

May-month so fair and fleet. 
The white thorn blossoms 

Around my lady's bower ; 
Golden the cowslips 

Are springing round her feet; 
But ev'n the violet 

Is not so sweet a flower. 



6 IN A GARDEN 

VI. 

O faithless heart, for once, for once believe : 
Open thine eyes, can seeing then deceive ? 

O hopeless thirst — for once, for once drink deep ; 
Look ! joy's full cup is given thee, tho' thou sleep. 

O loveless life, break forth and bud ; thy rod 
Shall bear sweet almonds from the graft of God. 

O stammering tongue, for once, for once speak true : 
To-day you plight the troth she giveth you. 



vn. 

Koses white and pink and red 
Who this dewy evening shed 

Eound our path a faint perfume :— 
'Tis my love that thus you greet, 
Deigning sweets to one as sweet 

From your close-locked treasure-room. 

Let not .spikenard make pretence, 
Odorous gums that drug the sense. 

Balm or musk to vie with this : 
Not the spices for the Spouse 
Heaped in her Beloved's house. 

Cinnamon and ambergris. 



IN A GARDEN 

Boses -white and pink and red 
Whose dim petals thickly spread 

Carpet o'er the shaven grass ; 
Could you know — her feet are fair 
And as soft as rose-leaves are, 

Kiss them lightly as they pass. 



He. What sound is that borne on the breeze, 
From what heart-thrilling strain, 
Out of the glowing depth of emerald trees, 
Just heard, then lost again? 

She. It was the nightingale, whose fervent heart 
Thus meditates his part 
While his bride tarries ; or to guide 
er beauty to his side. 

He. He is the true interpreter of love. 
For who that listens to his lay 
In covert hid from the unaccustomed sun 
This warm spring day, 
ELnows if that passion be or glad or sad. 
If pain or joy his numbers move ; 
'Tis hope, nay 'tis despair, nay rapture mad, 
Nay all of these in one. 



8 IN A GARDEN 

She. Stretch hither then, dear bird, thy^tawny wing ; 
To our lone garden come and sing 
In thy deep-throated -way 
The love we cannot say.- 

He. Yet come not at high noon, 
Come when the silver moon 
Lights up the chestnut tapers, and broad lamps 
Of the white, spreaded rose ; 
And makes the luminous pinks and lustrous 

may 
Fairer than ere by day ; 
And the deep stillness grows 
Deeper, the speU more deep ; 
No sound save in the stall an ox that champs, 
Or disturbed, scampering sheep. 



IX. 

" Dixit et avertens." 

When first I loved, 'twas not your eyes 
That quenched ambition in despair : 

Or eyelids folding petal-wise : 
Or golden burnish in brown hair : 

Or ebb and flow of red and white : 

Tho' now I taste their full delight. 



IN A GARDEN 

'Twas in this lovely garden first 
I saw your loveliness displayed ; 

You sat ; my heart was high, and durst 
Sit by you wondering, undismayed ; 

You rose : my heart fell on its face 

And knew the Genius of the place. 

So not by any common sign, 
Ambrosial hair, or roseate hue, 

That witnesses to race divine, 
Troy's prince his goddess mother knew ; 

But when she turned her steps, " 'Tis thou, 

Venus, I knew thee not till now." 



In the eaves a swallow cri'th, 
And hark, the sound of whetting. 

Whetting and whetting the scythe 
On the dewy lawn : O blithe. 

Blithe sound, there's no forgetting. 

For the grass is mown to-day ; 

O delicate scent and sweet ! 
Sweeter than seeded hay, 

More sweet, and ah, more fleet ! 
It is blown, it is flown away. 



10 IN A GARDEN 

XI. 

In all my borders I my true love seek 

By flowery signs to set : 
Praising the rose-carnation for her cheek, 

Her hair the violet ; 

Flowers that with sweet returns each season bloom, 

As each its impulse wakes. 
Making air fragrant with a purple gloom, 

Or whorl of crimson flakes. 

And ye, who blanch your glow, violets more rare. 

Carnations, foam of light ; 
Be pledges of a beauty still more fair 

When hair and cheek are white. 



Dearest, these household cares remit ; 

And while the sky is blue to-day, 
Here in this sunny shelter sit. 

To list the blackbird's lay^ 

Is all so rare, romantic boy ? 

Is love so new and strange, that thou 
Must with that wild and shrilling joy 

Thrill the yet wintry bough ? 



IN A GARDEN 11 

Ah, now 'tis softer grown, more sweet, — 
" I come, I come, O love, O my love," — 

And he is fluttering to her feet 
In yonder purple grove. 

Now hark ! all summer swells the note 
And dreams of mellow ripeness make 

So ripe, so rich his warbling throat 
For spouse and children's sake. 



Lover and prophet, see ! the flower 
Of cherry is hardly white, and figs 

Are leafless, and thy nuptial bower 
A cage of rattling twigs. 



Yet faith is evidence, and hope 
Substance, and love sufficient fire ; 

And Art in these finds ampler scope 
Than in fulfilled desire. 



So play thy Pan's pipe, happy Faun, 
Till some May night with moonshine pale, 

Thou pin'st, to hear by wood or lawn 
Apollo's nightingale. 



12 IN A GARDEN 

xni. 
Thro' the open windows come, 
Thro' the heated summer air 
Where the notes of birds are dumb, 
Moanings of a deep despair. 
And the listener, on the lawn 
Digging plantains, holds his breath ; 
For he knows the lists are drawn 
In a strife 'twixt life and death. 

Half his song the blackbird tries. 
Stops again for utter drouth ; 
So the sun thro' shadeless skies 
Shoots his arrows from the south : 
But that quiet moan comes yet, 
Chokes the heart of one who hears 
With vain longing, vain regret, 
Till his soul throbs in his ears. 

Slow the hours go creeping by, 
Yet the weary moan is sore ; 
Sudden then the wailing cry 
Of a voice unknown before 
Pierces thro' it. Oh delight ! 
Heart rejoice, tears have your way, 
Praised be God in depth and height 
For the child that's born to-day ! 



IN A GARDEN 13 



XIV. 



With dreams the sunbeams steep 

My bower that a bower will be 
In a month, for March this year 

Is kind as the month of maying : 
And a sound of the sea brings sleep ; 

Nay, sleep brings a sound of the sea, 
For it is but the wind that I hear 

In the heavy fir-tree swaying. 

What hear you as you stand, 

O love, by the shore of the sea ? 
The surf, or the gull's sad cry. 

Or the shouts of children playing 1 
Nay, shouts from a far-off land, 

And a plover's cry on the lea. 
And the sough of the winds that sigh 

In the heavy fir-tree swaying. 



XV. 

'Tis April, but the drought of March 
Is not yet piercfed by sweet showers ; 

The unsheathed sunbeams smite and parch 
The springing grass, the o'erhasting flowers. 



14 IN A GARDEN 

Our lily of the valley, see, 
That hardly ripens for Mid-May, 

My love's first pledge and annual fee, 
Is blown a month before the day. 

The lawn grows rusty, dusty red, 
For the' all night the gracious dew 

Bathes each wan blade, that else were dead, 
It cannot their dried sap renew. 

But in the orchard is a place 
Where we may lie, and feel the fall 

Of apple-petals on our face, 
And drowsing hear the cuckoo's call, 

The ring-dove's melancholy note, 
The blackbird s fluting, and the hum 

Of bees above us, more remote. 
As slumber steals our senses. Come. 



XVI. 

O happy garden, in May air 

With lawns and wilding arbours fair 

And alleys pleached of quick and yew 

To cloister those from curious view 

Who tread their paths of springing green ; 

And, save of nesting birds unseen. 



IN A GARDEN 15 

Listen and tell of love as they, 
While youth is youth and May is May. 



Take hands and walk, as we walk'd then 

Through the long shade to sun again, 

And watch'd the dial silently 

Brood o'er his lighten'd hours (as we, 

After our many days of cloud ;) 

And heard the blackbird fluting loud 

Fantastic descant from the beech, 

Then speed him home with chattering screech. 

We laughed, " Shy artist, who's thy foe ? " 

Nor knew the dread that parents know. 

From the nigh copse a turtle-dove 

Pour'd forth his passionate tale of love 

In smothered sobs from too full heart ; 

We heard in trance our own love's smart. 

Then all the breadth of heaven's high hall 

Shook with the plaintive cuckoo's call. 

Now faint, now resonantly clear. 

Then faint again, as far or near 

His homeless home he wander'd free, 

A " Pilgrim of Eternity." 

The spell broke with the smile, and so 
We turn'd our steps and loiter'd slow 



16 IN A GARDEN 

'Twixt borders pale with later spring ; — 

Polyanthus crowding ring on ring, 

Love's banner, heartsease, balm for thought. 

White tulips, blue forget-me-not. 

One sUm narcissus drooped his head. 

And from her closely curtain'd bed 

One lily shook out half her bells ; 

Each pluck'd ; which kept 1 the rhyme not tells. 

As yet the wise respective world 
Had not her pomp of plumes unf url'd 
Or tassell'd gold on tree and tree, 
T' enhance their fresh embroidery. 
For Boreas bluster'd still, and th' East 
Palsied the sap in plant and beast. 

Only Pomona knew no fear 

For her white breast had brush'd the pear, 

And now her fingers 'gan to fling 

On th' apples pink enamelUng. 

(O frosts, join not with rain to mar 

More cunning workmanship than far 

Ind fashions by her delicate waves 

To deck the Nereids in dim caves !) 

The season strain'd forward, and we 
Strain'd forward ampler bliss to see — 



IN A GARDEN 17 

Summer for spring, for blossom fruit ; 

And we have tasted, — and shall do't, 

If God allow, not once again — 

Autumn's joy wrought from smiles and pain. 

And now once more 'tis May — once more 

June's breath stirs rapture, blown before 

Her footsteps, and the rose's blood 

Tingles, the ruby gems i' th' wood 

Leap into twisted leaves, unfold 

To spray, as one but cries " Behold ! " 

And in the spray's heart lurks — O June, 

O heart of the year, thy heart makes swoon 

Th' o'erquicken'd sense, but ev'n thy name 

Wakes on man's heart new wings of flame ! 

O happy garden, two long years 
Have all thy voices charm'd our ears 
From discord, din, and rough unrest 
That drive off peace, too timorous guest. 
The ever-circling years shall bring 
Thee but more beautiful a spring ; 
(More beauteous spring, O love, to thee) 
In spite of winter's jealousy ! 
Which of us twain shall sooner go 
The separate path ; ah, who can know ! 
One May perhaps while thrushes call 
On Love in sweet antiphonal, 



18 IN A GARDEN 

An air shall blow, a whisper'd sigh ; 
And one the other sitting by- 
Shall rise and quit this leafy place 
With backward hands, and what still face ! 

Nay, tears avail not, but our love 
Avails death's terror to remove. 
Love dies not nor can lovers die ; 
And though vast worlds between them lie, 
Th' intelligencing current thrills 
From each to each the thought love wills. 
Remember'st not the dreary day 
When I must journey, how (you say) 
A nightingale, ev'n love's own bird. 
In our fair garden else unheard, 
Pour'd from the lilac, melting-sweet. 
His throated jewels at your feet, 
Till blissful night return'd me home ; 
And is death more than absence 1 Come 
Leave care, 'tis May, and still we are here. 
And shall be, shall be, many a year. 
Hearkening these swallows, and without 
The struck ball, and the echoing shout 
Of village children at their play. 
In the quiet air at end of day. 



IN A GARDEN 19 

XVII. 

" Her^s a few flowres, hut 'bout midnight more, 
The herbs that have on them cold dew o' the night." 

Eose and lily, white and red, 
From my garden garlanded. 
These I brought and thought to grace 
The perfection of thy face. 

Other roses, pink and pale. 
Lilies of another vale. 
Thou hast bound around thy head 
In the garden of the dead. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 



BAKBAEA 

The breeze of Spring is not so blithe, 

The sea-gull not so free, 
No silver fish so light and lithe 

To wind in the green sea. 
Nor e'er did subtle alchemist 

Compound such wondrous dyes 
Of sapphire sky and emerald mist 

As the hue of Barbara's eyes. 

The wind goes wavering thro' the grass, 

The sea-gull circles high, 
The golden sunbeams in a mass 

Break from a rift of sky. 
But I may bind the wind as well. 

Or scale the gull's high nest. 
As ever hope the gold to tell 

That flows round Barbara's breast. 



24 SONGS AND SONNETS 



SONG ■ 

Love walked upon the sea this tranced night,I know, 
For the waves beneath his feet ran pale with 

silver light, 
But he brought me no message as on a summer 
night, 
A golden summer night, long ago. 

Love walked among the fields of yellow waving 
corn. 
For the poppy blossomed red where his weary 

feet had pressed ; 
And my door stood ready open for a long-expected 
guest, 
But he never, never came, night or morn. 

Perhaps if I wait till the summer swallows flee, 
He will wander down the valley and meet me as 

before, 
Or perhaps he will find me alone upon the shore 

■When he comes with the swallows over sea. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 25 



THE NIGHT WATCHES 

Comb, O come to me, voice or look, or spirit or 

dream, but O come now ; 
All these faces that crowd so thick are pale and 

cold and dead — Come thou. 
Scatter them back to the ivory gate and be alone 

and rule the night. 

Surely all worlds are nothing to Love for Love to 

flash thro' the night and come ; 
Hither and thither he flies at will, with thee he 

dwelleth — there is his home. 
Come, O Love, with a voice, a message ; haste, O 

Love, on thy wings of light. 

Love, I am caUing thee. Love, I am calling : dost 

thou not hear my crying, sweet ? 
Does not the live air throb with the pain of my 

beating heart, till thy heart beat 1 — 
Surely momently thou wilt be here, surely, O sweet 

Love, momently. 



26 SONGS AND SONNETS 

No, my voice would be all too faint, when it reached 

Love's ear, tho' the night is stiU, 
Fainter ever and fainter grown o'er hill and valley 

and valley and hill, 
There where thou liest quietly sleeping, and Love 

keeps watch as the dreams flit by. 

Ah, my thought so subtle and swift, can it not fly 

till it reach thy brain, 
And whisper there some faint regret for a weary 

watch and a distant pain 1 — 
Not too loud, to awake thy slumber ; not too tender, 

to make thee weep ; 

Just so much for thy head to turn on the pillow so, 

and understand 
Dimly, that a soft caress has come long leagues from 

a weary land. 
Turn and half remember and smile, and send a 

kiss on the wings of sleep. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 27 



ACCIDIA 

There breathes a sense o£ Spring in the boon air : 
The woods are amber, purple, misty red, 
Primrose and violet rouse them from their bed. 
Their skiey homes the patient rooks repair ; 
Everywhere hope is rife, joy everywhere ; 
But I thy heart lie yet unquiokenSd, 
And bleating lambs and larks that sing o'erhead 
Charm not away my sluggish cold despair. 

Peace, peace, fond heart; thy spring- tide is not this ; 
Thy sap of joy mounted, though flowers were sere, 
That day, though leaves fell thick before the West. 
Nor grudge nor envy thou a natural bliss. 
Birds keep their season, thou through all the year 
Ma^st sing thy song, soar skyward, make thy nest. 



28 SONGS AND SONNETS 



IMPKISONED 

The last half -hour is come and past, 

The last good-bye is said, 
The outer door is shut, the last 

Faint echo fallen dead. 
My heart too is shut fast, shut fast. 

Close barred with bars of lead. 

None may come in, none may go out ; 

I sit apart alone ; 
Long days I sit, silent, in doubt 

If the heart be turned to stone ; 
Long months — and then one day, a shout ;- 

At once the walls fall down. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 29 



LOVE UNKETUKNED 

My soul, where is the fruit of life-long pain 
To render to the husbandmen above ? 
Thou hast been watered by my tears of love 
For that pure spirit whose serene disdain 
Pierced like a ploughshare thro' thee, leaving plain 
Forgotten depths wind-sown, whereout I strove 
Unceasingly to gather what might prove, 
In time of harvest, tares instead of grain. 

" Alas ! " my soul said, " had but Love passed by 
And cast into the furrows, as he went 
Sowing beside all waters in the spring, 
Methinks I had borne fruit abundantly 
For God to garner, as He sits intent 
Above the angels at their winnowing." 



30 SONGS AND SONNETS 



BEAUTY 

These other things of earth and sky 
Are still most beautiful, and yet 
I stUl can love them quietly. 

That broad flush where the sun has set 
Lingering awhile for the moon's sake, 
And the grey sea, I shall forget. 

Why will forgetfulness not take 
The troubled longing from my heart 
Which thy flushed face and grey eyes make 

Art thou, thou only, more than part 

Of this great beauty of the whole. 

That but for thee my quick nerves start 1 

Hast thou some hidden magic of soul 
Which draws my eyes and hands and feet 
As the moon draws the waves that roll ? 



SONGS AND SONNETS 31 

It may be, for I know well, sweet, 

I have no word to say at best. 

But the wave's word which the winds repeat. 

(Moon, is this spell thy potentest 'i 
Cannot the waves mount up to heaven, 
Or else this tossing sink to rest ?) 

Conjure no more ; let me be given 
To love thy beauty peacefully 
Like sunshine or the silver Seven. 



32 SONGS AND SONNETS 



HOPE 

I SHALL not see him yet, I know, for still 
Between us lies an unsurmounted hill. 

And tho' I hurry and pant, his pace is slow ; 
Yet shall I see his sunny face and hair 
(For he will surely come to meet me) there 

In the last valley somewhere, that I know. 

What tho' he pauses in the pleasant wheat 
To watch the lark mount skyward, do my feet 

Pause or my eyes desert the path they climb ? 
What tho' he strays where pleasant voices call 
Of thrush or dove or woodland waterfall 1 

My ears hear nothing till that meeting-time. 

Will my strength last me ?— -did not someone say 
The way was ever easier all the way, 

The road less rough, the barren waste lessjbare ? 
The briars are long since past, the stones cut less. 
This hUl is not so steep, let me but press 

Across that peak, I know he will be there. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 33 



HEAET AND WIT 

It is not for infinity, 

For larger air, and broader sea, 

I long, but for one child, ah me ! 

Desolate in my room I sit, 

And my heart, questioned by my -wit, 

Makes x>oor attempts to answer it. 

A mere child. Yes, a child whose face 

Is all I care for, to express 

Colour and form, and time and space. 

Who prattles nonsense. Ay, may be. 
But woven throughout with subtlety, 
Far, far too deep and high for me. 

WhUe you say nothing. For my speech 
Would break the spell that the weird witch 
Has finely wroi]@ht from each to each. 

Con it be love I Poor feeble word ! 
Confounding each emotion stirred 
By Giod or man or tree or bird, 
c 



34 SONGS AND SONNETS 

What is it ? Nay, I know not, good ; 
For I •would learn it, if I could, 
This mystery of flesh and blood. 

But this I know, that sun and star 
Are less to me and far less far 
Than certain lights and shadows are. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 35 



LOVE THE MASKER 
(Anacreontic) 

I. 
On a summer day, 
Under leaves for sky, 
Stretched at ease we lay. 

When the heat gan die, 
When the light grew mUd, 
Came there wandering by, 

O, a lovely child, 

Fair as the Winged Boy, 

Came and looked and smiled. 

" Stay, here's many a toy. 
Child, whoe'er you be.'' 
Said he, "I am Joy.'' 

So he stayed, and we 
Crowned his hair with buds. 
Bent and bowed the knee, 



36 SONGS AND SONNETS 

Brought him Summer's goods 
Made him king for play 
In the leafy woods. 

" Now, child, home away, 
We have kept you long.'' 
But the child would stay. 

" Sing then one last song, 

Sing and go," we said, 

" Night may do you wrong.'' 

Then we kissed the red 
Darling lips, and he 
Homeward wandered. 

n. 
On a winter's night 
When the storm was o'er 
And the snow lay white, 

I unlatched the door. 
Drawn to watch the ipoon 
Shining keen and frore. 

There upon the stone 
Crouched a child, behold ! 
Sleeping or in swoon. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 37 

Ah, his face was cold, 
Pinched and wan and thin 
'Neath his hair of gold. 

" Chafing heat may win ; 
Quick, or the child dies.'' 
So we chafed his skin ; 

Till with many sighs 
Th' eyelids opened. 
Then we saw his eyes. 

" O, sweet Joy,'* we said, 
" O our summer king. 
Thou wert all but dead. 

Say what luckless thing 
Drove thee thro' the snow, 
Hither wandering ? " 

" Nay, my name is Woe,'' 
Said the child, " nor where 
Am I, do I know. 

Nor who pay me care : 
But I must away, 
On my journey fare." 



38 SONGS AND SONNETS 

" Nay, our darling, nay, 
Whatso thy name be. 
Hither didst thou stray ; 

We have longed for thee. 
We have found and saved ; 
Ours thou art, agree.'' 

But his gold locks waved 
As he shook his head. 
Laughed, and echoed " saved " ! 

Then his wings light-spread 
Beat, and he was gone, 
And we worshipped. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 



LOVE AND DUTY 

O BLTTE eyes, bright with sapphire blaze, 
Dear mantling cheek, a ruby fire. 

My eyes, 'tis, light the Ught I praise. 
Your cheek on mine that flushes higher. 

Ah, could these fires their force sustain. 
Each draw from each and find no loss — 

Nay, waxing as the pulses wane 
Reforge the heart and purge its dross ! 

Think it not ; aU things slide away ; 

Nor can love's light and heat abide, 
Tho' eyes on eyes be fixed alway. 

And cheek be ever cheek beside. 

Yet if that star, of many one, 
Which blazes stedfast o'er our head. 

Lead up our eyes, as each day's done. 
And thro' our eyes its influence shed. 

Till thro' our hearts there flows with peace 
Of equal pulse the same desire, — 

Then eyes and cheeks shaU never cease 
To glow and feed each other's fire. 



40 SONGS AND SONNETS 



POLONAISE 

(Chopin, Op. 40, 2) 

So long, so long, the solitary night : 

But day mil break and bring the happy light, 

And then I shall arise and see the sun. 
Nay, for thd night has fallen eternally. 
The shadow of death is heavy over me, 

There is no rising up for such a one. 

No gay glad day, no quiet twilight hour. 

No mist of morning or sweet noon-day shower. 

No twitter of birds or murmur of labouring 
men; 
Only the wizard mockery of the moon. 
The wind repeating the same weary tune. 

The dreams that light a little, and fly again. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 41 



LOCA SENTA SIT [J 

The rushes stand where the rushes stood, 

Stiff and tall, but the lake is dry ; 
They will stand so still in the lonely wood, 
Till the world shall die. 

No wind makes rustle the weary reeds ; 
The gentle gale and the rushing blast 
As they foUow where spring or the storm-king 
leads, 

Pause aghast. 

The red sun flames with a steady light, 

No smallest cloud in the brazen skies j 
The moon looks down with a pale affright 
In her quiet eyes. 

No song of bird can now come near, 

No buzz of insect ever again, 
No ripple of pleasant water, or tear 
Of the dripping rain. 

The reeds stand now where the reeds then stood. 

Above them hangs the silent sky ; 
Around them shivers the lonely wood. 
And the lake is dry. 



42 SONGS AND SONNETS 



KOSE-FRUIT 

They praised me when they found the new- 
born bud, 

And all my blood 
Flamed, as I burst in blossom, to requite 

Their dear delight. 

And still they praised my beauty, as I grew 

In the sun's view ; 
Then what will be their joy, said I, to find 

My fruit behind ! 

But when the wind came, and revealed at last 

My heart set fast. 
They said, " 'Twere well this cumbering thing 
should go ; 

New buds will blow.'' 



SONGS AJSTD SONNETS 43 



SONG 



Is this the spring that wanders 

With sad and wistful eyes, 
And idly inly ponders 

The grey and vacant skies 1 
Is this true spring or seeming 

That sits with sunken head ? 
O yes, for she is dreaming 

Of winter that is dead. 

Is this the spring that quickens 

The violets in the vale, 
And aU the woodland thickens 

With primrose-blossoms pale 1 
Is this true spring or seeming 

That smiles along the way 1 
O yes, for she is dreaming 

Of laughter of the May. 



NATURE'S CAEAVANSEKAI 

Take down the tapestries we hung for Summer, 
And spread them for a carpet on the floor ; 

'Tis faded, but 'twill serve for the new-comer. 
The Queen may come again 1 Fresh are in store. 



44 SONGS AND SONNETS 



WHISPEES AT COUET 
October 

I. Come away, away, 

Summer at length is sped. 
Was ever a King so gay ? 
And now he lieth dead. 
Kiss we his brother's hand, 
Who reigns in the Southern latid. 

II. Stay and see, and see ; 
Summer was glorious, 
But gorgeous pageantry 
Doth little profit us. 
His Queen (if truth be told) 
Will scatter abroad his gold. 

November 
I. Come now, O come. 

Autumn her gold hath spent ; 
And through the palace doth roam 
Moaning her discontent. 
Her voice is shrill and drear, 
A weariness to hear. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 45 

Stay yet, O stay, 
Winter will reign to-night. 
Did you not mark to-day 
His bitter smile in her sight 1 
He hath a plot, I ween, 
To carry captive the Queen. 



46 SONGS AND SONNETS 



AVE ATQUE VALE 

The beech has fallen in the gale, 

The gentle beech we loved so long. 
Alas, could wintry winds avail 

To work such envious wrong ! 

No more shall April make thee brave 

With silken leaves, nor e'er again 
Thy streaming tresses toss and wave 
Flashing their gems of rain ; 

While haply sheltering boy or maid 

Looks startled up, and deems he sees 
The green, pale light thro' roofs of jade 
Li fairy palaces. 

No more shall mavis to his mate 

Warble, or gossip sparrows cheep 
In thy loved bowers, or jackdaws prate 
On caucus matters deep ; 



SONGS AND SONNETS 47 

Or sweet May's bird his mystery ply 

Cutting smooth jewels of ringing song, 
To grace with trembling ecstasy 

Night's ear, that waited long. 

Who planted thee, I know ; and praise 

His ghost, and here within my haU 
(That once was his,) have set his face. 
For a memorial ; — 

A stately priest with powdered hair. 
In cassock trim and decent bands ; 
My fancy sees him fix thee there 

With tender, fostering hands. 

Goodbye ; low lying at my feet 
I hail, I waU thee as my sire. 
And with due rites and dirges meet 
Will light thy funeral pyre. 



48 SONGS AND SONNETS 



FIEST SNOW 

The fallows yellow and frigid 
'Mongst frozen snow-fields lie : 

The black trees lift up rigid 
Their arms to the leaden sky. 

O'er bams and haystacks whitened 
The larches sigh and sway ; 

The hedgerow grasses are lightened 
With light not of the day. 

And sheep on the south slope browsing 

Close huddled for the cold, 
In a silvery mist drowsing, 

Have all their fleece of gold. 

But I know tho' round and above her 
Are spells of the wizard Death, 

That waiting the Spring, her lover. 
Summer but slumbereth. 

And I would my heart were lying, 

Where Summer lies asleep. 
Lulled by the fir-trees sighing. 

And tinkling bells of sheep. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 49 



THE KOBBSr IN JANUAKY 
(" Hey robin, jolly robin ") 

Geeen again, green to-day- 
Garden lawn, and mossy park ; 

They have laid awhile away 
Winter's ermine cloak ; and hark, 

Hark, our robin, who but he ? 

Singing blithe as blithe can be. 

'Tis not passion's melting note, 
Though his breast be red Uke fire ; 

Nor can his, like thrush's throat, 
Eaise to -rapture each desire : 

'Tis a song of simplest joy, 

Like the laughter of a boy. 

Eobin, keep thy happy heart. 
Through the year so well begun : 

Live and love, unheard, apart, 
So may we when Summer's done. 

Tired with art and passion-spent. 

Hear and share thy sweet content. 



50 SONGS AND SONNETS 



TO THE NIGHTINGALE IN SEPTEMBEE 

( Villanelle) 

Child of the muses and the moon, 
O nightingale, return and sing, 
Thy song is over all too soon. 

Let not night's quire yield place to noon, 

To this red breast thy tawny wing, 
Child of the muses and the moon. 

Sing us once more the old sad tune 
Pandion heard when he was king. 
Thy song is over all too soon. 

Night after night thro' leafy June 

The stars were hush'd and listening. 
Child of the muses and the moon. 

Now new moons grow to plenilune 

And wane, but no new music bring. 
Thy song is over all too soon. 

Ah, thou art weary ! well, sleep on. 

Sleep till the sun brings back the Spring ; 
Thy song is over aU too soon. 
Child of the muses and the moon. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 51 



NIDDEEDALE 

Two things I love in this most lovely dale : 
A stream of amber water, clear and chill, 
O'er slope stones slipping, or at wayward will 
Breaking smooth silence to a silver tale ; 
A fir-wood then, fanned by a gentle gale 
To loose its scent ; within the trimks are still, 
And pillar a dark shrine for dreams to fill ; 
Between the stems the unsunned grass is pale. 

Two things I loved ; but thou, O lovelier 
Than these, hast all that these were worth to me ; 
Thy clearer eyes know more of change and stir 
Than aU the brooks, thy tongue more melody ; 
And 'neath thy shadowy hair, thy serene face 
Makes sanctuary in the holy place. 



52 SONGS AND SONNETS 



TO COMATAS 

rd 5' iirb Spvaiv ^ iwh 7rei5/cats 

aSii /ieKi<rS6fi.ei>os KO/raKeKKuro, Bue Ko/iora. 

Heeb on this garden's close-cut grass, 
Where here and there a leaf astray 

Lies yellow, till the wind shall pass 
And take it some new earthy way, 

Here, O Comatas, let us lie 

While yet the autumn sun is high. 

The stir of men is quiet now, 
But birds are singing each to each ; 

The robin on the apple bough 
Sings to the robin in the beech ; 

And swallows twitter as they go 

Wheeling and sweeping high and low. 

No sound but these sweet madrigals 
To our enclosed garden comes, 

Save when a ripened apple falls. 
Or gnats intone, or a wasp hums. 

Here shall thy voice bid time speed by, 

O boy Comatas, as we Ue. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 53 

Sing some old rhyme of long ago, 
Of lady-love or -wandering knight, 

Of faithful friend and valorous foe 
And right not yet estranged from might ; 

The songs our singers sing us now, 

O boy Comatas, sing not thou. 

Sing, for thy voice has gentle power 
To cancel years of fret and woe. 

And I remembering this one hour, 
Shall pass sad days the happier so ; 

And thou before the sun has set, 

O boy Comatas, wilt forget. 



54 SONGS AND SONNETS 



GOING DOWN HILL ON A BICYCLE 

A Boy's Song 

With lifted feet, hands still, 
I am poised, and down the hill 
Dart, with heedful mind ; 
The air goes by in a wind. 

Swifter and yet more swift. 
Till the heart, with a mighty Uf t. 
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry : — 
" O bird, see ; see, bird, I fly. 

Is this, is this your joy, 
O bird, then I, though a boy, 
For a golden moment share 
Your feathery life in air ! " 

Say, heart, is there aught like this 
In a world that is f uU of bliss 1 
'Tis more than skating, bound 
Steel-shod to the level ground. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 55 

Speed slackens now, I float 
Awhile in my airy boat ; 
Till when the wheels scarce crawl, 
My feet to the treadles fall. 

Alas, that the longest hill 
Must end in a vale ; but still, 
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe'er, 
Shall find wings waiting there. 



56 SONGS AND SONNETS 



NATUKAL HEEALDKY 

The rain is over, that so long 
Has chilled the tender-hearted May ; 
Chaffinch and thrush resume their song : 
Come, children, come : come out to play ; 
Leave crests and shields, and con with me 
A still more antique heraldry. 

See, in a field of azure sky. 

Whose tincture glows without a stain, 

Mid argent clouds dispersedly 

The sun in splendour shines again ; 

While of them both * the fountains flow 

In barry-wavy streams below. 

Here on a mount are fir and beech. 
And counterchanged by every breeze 
Leaves of all foils ; and flowers each 
Proper, in chief the fleur-de-lis ; 
And look where barbed and seeded blows 
Argent and gules the rival rose. 
1 i.e., of argent and azure. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 57 

Two-headed eagles are not here, 

Or crested peacocks in their pride, 

But two-legged martlets build, and steer 

With wings displayed their circles wide ; 

And. emulate with grub and fly 

Your pelican in her piety. 

In this field vert, parted per pale, 
No lion ramps or gryphon prances 
But Dobbin whisks a coupSd tail, 
And Meg as saUent as a lance is ; 
And what supporter could surpass 
Lucius, our sturdy golden ass ? 



58 SONGS AND SONNETS 



SOME FLOWEES 

Poets sing you fancies 
About Love and Death, 
Night and Day. 
Do not give them pansies ; 
" That's for thoughts," one saith : 
Give them bay. 

If the soldier's quarrel 
Be for right, not might, 
God and King, 
Let them bind the laurel 
Eound his brows at night. 
Glorying. 

For the lover roses, 
Eoses for his love, 
TiU they die ; 
When the churchyard closes 
O'er them, strew above 
Eosemary. 



SONGS AND SONNETS 

For the parson rueful, 

Herb of grace, not sense, 

Here is rue ; 

Let the sleepy pewful, 

With a difference. 

Wear it too. 



TEIOLET 

Under the sun 

There's nothing new ; 
Poem or pun, 
Under the sun. 
Said Solomon, 

And he said true. 
Under the sun 

There's nothing new. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 



THE TEEE OF LIFE 

A Eecognition in vottr Seasons 

Argument 

A prophet, desiring to recover for men the fruit of the Tree 
of Life, seems to find Paradise by certain traditional signs 
of beauty in nature. He is further persuaded by observing 
the beauty and innocence of children. By and by he comes 
upon the Tree of Knowledge, whose fruit, now old, he dis- 
cerns to be evU; but from which, to his desire, new is 
brought forth, which is good. At each recognition one of the 
Guardian Angels of the Tree of Life is withdrawn, until there 
is left only the Angel of Death, in the light of whose sword 
he perceives it. The Angels' songs are not heard by the 
prophet. 

I. Spring 
Prophet 
O TREE of life, blissful tree, 
Old as the world, still springing green, 
Planted, watered. by Grod ; whose fruit 
Hath year by year fallen about the root, 

And century by century ; 
Grant me that I thy glory unseen 
At last attain to see ! 



64 RELIGIOUS PIECES 

Chorus of Angels 

The flame of ow eyes still hideth 

The fatal tree: 
Which God in charge confideth 

That none may see, 
Till 'gainst our light advances 

A pvrer ray, 
And melts with fervid glances 

Our swords of day. 

Prophet 

Considerate This garden I consider : if not the wise 

lUiaagri guo- . 

moiLoareacmia. Repute it Paradise, 

The wise may err and ancient fame be lost ; 

As Ophir on the swart Arabian coast, — 

Whence she, of Saba queen, 

In silk raiment and gold, 

Bearing spices manifold. 

Not unlike this lily's purer sheen, 

Came a weary way to salute Solomon, 

Fainting to see, and fainted having seen 

Such wisdom dazzled from his throne, — 

Now Ophir lies unknown ; 
Yet stumbling haply on gold, a man shall say 

Who feeds his flocks by the weU, 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 65 

"Lo Ophir ! " what if I to-day 
A like token recover, and tell. 

Chorus of Angels 

The fire of our heart presages 

{And gins to dim,) 
That though through ageless ages 

We wait for him, 
He comes ; our glory retires, 

And simnksfrom strife. 
Folding in closer fires 

The Tree of Life. 



Prophet 

Goeth up a mist, 

To water the ground from the four streams at even ; 

Wrapt in a veil of amethyst 

The trees and thickets wait for Spring to appear. 

An angel outTof heaven. 

Bringing apparel new for the new year ; 

In the soft light the birds 

Reset to the loved air the eternal words, 

And in the woods primroses peer. 

E 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 

Angel of the Spring 

He hath seen me with eyes ofwdnder 

And named my narne, 
My shield is riven in sunder, 

And quencht my flame : 
My task is done, and rewarded, 

If faithfully ; 
By others now is guarded 

The mystic Pree. 



II. Summer 
Prophet 
O tree of life, blessed tree, 
When shall I thy beauty attain to see ? 
, New fledged ev'n now, new canopied with green, 
(Not darkening ever as these in brooding heat,) 

To beasts of the field a screen, 
A shadowy bower for weary eyes and feet : 
Tree by tree musing, I find not thee. 

mnit See, in the rippling water the children at play. 

Flashing hither stnd thither, diamonded with spray ; 
Lithe and fair their Umbs, their hearts light and 
gay— 
As fair as they of Niobe j 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 67 

Divinely fair, but too divinely famed ; 

Not so now let it be. 
Children of Adam these by birth proclaimed, 
Clasping a mother's breast, a father's knee, 

By father's father named. 

Ay, but see, but see, 
Their mien how high, how free their spirit ! 

They are naked and not ashamed 
Of that translucent veil, that symmetry. 

How they shout for glee ! 
It is the primal joy, and not the curse they inherit. 

A child of Adam, a child of God can he be ? 

O look, look and see ! 



The Angels of Child/ren 

His ear through nature's noises, 

Where'er he trod, 
Could hear in the chiW/reiis voices 

The praise of God. 
Our tosh is done, and rewarded. 

If faithfully, 
By others now is guarded 

The mystic tree. 



68 RELIGIOUS PIECES 

III. Autumn 
Prophet 
Say who are ye upon this bank reclining, 

At random laid, 
Where loaded boughs a diaper intertwining 

Of fragrant shade. 
Stretch down their fruits to cheer the heart's re- 
pining. 

Dieif ento They hear me not, asleep, or drunken, or (ah !) dead. 
est. O Tree of Knowledge, 'tis thou, tree divine 

Of good and HI ; — ^trembling, I view thee. 

To me, as them, thy golden apples incline. 

Able to slake my thirst, or else undo me. 

Which shall I pluck, which dread 

Of all their goodUhead ? 

If roots be twain, from which there flows 

To these elixir, poison to those. 

How can I track their currents through the stem 

Which bears and buries them ? 

Nay, but it cannot be the tree of good ; 

'Tis utter evil ; to nearer view 

The fruit dislustres, dull of hue. 

All its ripe vermilion vanished. 

Dead fruit, not human food ; 

And these mistaking souls from life are banished. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 69 

But see, — a ■wonder, — lo, on each branch swells 

A new fruit ruddy-rinded, that smeUs 

Freshly, and from their places in decay 

The old shrivel, and drop away. 

The ripeness allures to taste, O what should stay 

me? 
Ill was the old, but the new is goodly and sweet ; 
A blessing is in it, desire to greet, 
Not a curse to slay me ; 
(O divine the taste !) 
Of the blind to open the eyes, 
Deaf ears to unstop, make wise 
The feeble-hearted, and to-day (O haste !) 
For these poor dead the tree of life display ! 

Angel of the Tree of Divine Knowledge 

Tlie old fruit which evil hringeth 

He hath eschewed; 
I breathe, and a new fruit springeth; 

He saw it good. 
My task is done ; and rewarded. 

If faithfully ; 
By others now is guarded 

The mystic Tree. 



70 RELIGIOUS PIECES 

IV. Winter 

Prophet 

I had thought ere this to have blest mine eyes 
With thy vision benign, immortal tree ; 
For since that fruit, more than with Euphrasy, 
My spirits are all alert, my sense more keen. 
Nor is the north that chides with the stript boughs 

An enemy, if it shows 
All these but mortal, though in Paradise. 

But thou, O still unseen. 
Come into sight ; not yet I faint, but abide 
And ever abide, yearning thee to behold. 
Thee following, this girdling forest wide. 
My heart by hope made bold, 
I have laboured through, and now emerge at length 
Torn by the briers, spent my strength ; 
But branches wintry-bare deny the sheen 
Of the amaranthine leaves and fruit of gold. 
TUl now at last the light 
Fails from my hope as from the heaven, 
Where marshal the clouds, blown up with boisterous 

breath ; 
The trees strain from the blast of death 
Shrieking convulsed, so fierce the hail is driven 

Across the vault of night. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 71 

And now the waving brand 

Of a cherub lightens down 

And rends the air with crashing din ; 

Ah, if it be by God's command 

To show light in the darkness of nature's frown 

That I my purpose win ! 

It flashes and still flashes, and now I see Quiperdidera 

arnimam 
Beyond the blaze glooming a tree, a tree, simminveniet. 

Stately and large, — (O light deceive not, 

O weary eyes not now believe not !) — 

Unseen before ; to that I press. 

Despite the tempest and limbs' tardiness. 

Lighten, O sword divine, to clear my way. 

And thou, O happy heart, upstay 

Steps that falter and swerve, since few 

Bemain ; come light again, I shall win through. 

Angel of Death 

My flame he hath not abhorred. 

Nor natures strife, 
But lightened through my sword. 

Hath passed to Life. 
My task is done ; and rewarded, 

If faithfully ; 
Henceforth no more is guarded, 

The mystic tree. 



72 RELIGIOUS PIECES 

PEAYEKS 
God who created me 

Nimble and light of limb, 
In three elements free, 

To run, to ride, to swim : 
Not when the sense is dim. 

But now from the heart of joy, 
I would remember Him : 

Take the thanks of a boy. 

Jesu, Eang and Lord, 

Whose are my foes to fight. 
Gird me with Thy sword, 

Swift and sharp and bright. 
Thee would I serve if I might ; 

And conquer if I can. 
From day-dawn till night. 

Take the strength of a man. 

Spirit of Love and Truth, 

Breathing in grosser clay, 
The light and flame of youth, 

Delight of men in the fray. 
Wisdom in strength's decay ; 

From pain, strife, wrong to be free, 
This best gift I pray. 

Take my spirit to Thee. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 73 



LINES ON A YOUNG FKIEND WHO DIED 
JUST BEFOKE TAKING OKDEKS 

Put off thy shoes from ojf thy feet : — 
So came a voice to thee (tho' shod 

With preparation, to make meet 
For God) from God. 

No vision nor similitude 

He showed thee then, but, higher grace, 
His Godhead's self, nor veil-endued, 

But face to face. 

Now not by word, Q slow of speech, 
Shalt thou the ills of life console. 

Nor tongue to ear thy gospel preach, 
But soul to soul. 



A FUNEKAL 

The snow is frozen hard upon the ground. 
Hard frozen is the grief in every eye ; 

The south wiU blow, and aU these tears unbound 
Shall find thy face together, by and by. 



74 RELIGIOUS PIECES 



DUKESTG THE ANTHEM 

The windows shake with the wind 

Of the organ-peal above ; 
But angels there enshrined 

Keep their still look of love : 
The boys below in the choir 

Sing plangent notes that drown 
My heart in tears of fire, 

But leave unvexed their own. 

No steadfast angel I ; 

No thoughtless innocent, 
Through whom God's praise may cry 

Nor scorch the way it went ; 
Child-haven left, my bark 

Eides a tumultuous sea. 
That far, far port its mark, — 

The saints' serenity. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 75 



AMBITION 

TJnsummoned they arrive, and pass unchecked, 

Tall, fair, and chaplet-decked ; 

With wreaths of berried myrtle to allure. 

Myrtle and bay with glistening dew fresh- varnished ; 

But some bear gold, and some but lilies pure, 

Some roses heavy-petalled, heavy-scented. 

Or that sweet bud of May 

Which lives its hour and falls contented ; 

But who not knows, who knows so well as I 

That but to touch is loss, their show a lie ; — 

The flowers are shrivelled, and the gold is tarnished. 

So well as I who knows ? 
But who so well, O sole, O sovereign rose. 
How life itself lives but to touch and take ; 
For that the blood rejoices, the limbs ache, 
The brain ferments, the throat is dry ; 
It is the world, Ufe, I ; 

Though fate forbid, it must be mine, must, must ! 
'Tis mine ; a moment, and 'tis summer dust. 



7a RELIGIOUS PIECES 

O heart of golden fire, 
Self -coined in idle pulse of passionate desire, 
Wilt thou desire inherit ? 

Then nurse thy flames till they be white from red. 
And let the ore be shed 
Into the seething cauldron of thy spirit ; 
And when the minute strikes, pour ; and behold 
True steel, more potent than the finest gold. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 77 



THE PLOUGHED MEADOW 

Cowslip and daffodil 
Spring here for whoso will 
In the merry meadow 
Where all the weeds are flowers ; 
Kine wiU not eat them, 
But all the sunny hours 
Merry maidens pleat them, 
Till night brings shadow. 

Daffodils die away. 
Cowslips, from light of day. 
When the plows shear it, 
And earth's heart is broken ; 
Blood-poppy takes their place. 
Sharp sorrow's token ; 
Charlock, the land's disgrace. 
Assays to cheer it. 

Dare we then blame the plow, 
'Cause darnel springs up now 1 
Where lurked the charlock seeds. 



78 HBLIGIOUS PIECES 

When the meads were merry 1 
What sower planted them 1 
Say, who would bury , 
Seeds of them 1 who wanted them, 
Flowers that were only weeds t 

Envoy 

O daughter mine, O thou. 
Thou art the meadow, now 
All thy weeds are flowers. 
But soon will dawn the hours 
When thy heart must be broken, 
When conscience shall shear thee. 
And heart's blood be the token. 
Then will shew the weeds 
Springing apace, apace. 
Darnel, the heart's disgrace, 
And charlock, in pale pride. 
Assaying to cheer thee. 

But let one sow, sow wide 

In the furrow, and take heed 

The seed is the good seed — 

It shall choke charlock and darnel. 

For fJiat seed is eternal. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 79 



KIBKOTH-HATTAAVAH 

Hot sun, dry sand, yet dew 

Morning and night descends ; 
Praise God who giveth you 
His own Angels for friends, 

Who thus your table dress 

In wildest wilderness. 



Israelite. O heavy toil to gather, 

O tasteless, sapless bread. 
Than such faint hfe far rather 

In the Eed Sea we were dead. 
With manna day by day 
Our soul is dried away. 



Souls mine, brought forth with pain, 

Nursed, carried at my breast. 
Weep not, nor murmur again, 

For surely at last comes rest — 
At last, after this toil 
A land of wine and oil. 



80 RELIGIOUS PIECES 

Israelite. Not so, father, not so, 

That land comes never nigher ; 
We move but to and fro. 

Following a cloud and fire 
Blown by the winds in heaven. 
Aimless, as sands are driven. 

Moses. Nay, but can ye forget 

How from the further coast 
Ye passed, nor your feet were wet. 

But Pharaoh and his host 
Were whelmed by the wall of sea. 
And you, children, were free 1 

Israelite. Freedom is this ? then liever 
Slavery ia Egypt's vales. 
Where flows the sevenfold river 

Whose fish shine with bright scales. 
Where grow fruits without number. 
Green melons, green cucumber. 



See from the darkened dawn 
What clouds the Spirit brings ; 

Hark, near and nearer drawn 
The whirr of infinite wings ! 

Praise God, fall at His feet, 

Who hath given you fiesh to eat. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 81 

Israelite. Flesh, sweet flesh once more : 

In the veins blood, joy at heart : 
For a week, a month, as of yore 
Bliss : . . . . 

ah, too sweet thou art : 
Dark falls, I bite the dust 
Of the grave, the grave of lust. 



82 RELIGIOUS PIECES 



CAIAPHAS 

The signal comes ; Azazel's goat is dead. 
Dead too our sin, and — the atonement fit 
Such as His people may to God All-dread 
Present and live, — have paid their lives for it 
A bullock and a ram ; that, type of sin ; 
This, symbol of obedient hearts -within. 

And now I wash : O whiter than white snow, 
Whiter than these white robes make Thou my 

hands, 
Use Thou as I the hyssop, for I go 
Before Thy Face to do Thy dear commands. 
I lift the veil, and thro the awful dark 
Scatter the blood towards the Holy Ark. 

So it is done : For you, O people mine 
Thus year by year doth your High-priest atone ; 
Pouring the innocent blood of goats and kine. 
Bending before the mercy-seat alone. 
Lo, ye are clean ; O bruised, afflicted sore, 
God hath forgiven you, go, and sin no more. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 83 

Ay, put away from you the accursed thing, 
Schism and sedition ; give to all their dues : 
Why make a Christ when Caesar is your King, 
Why kick against the pricks, O foolish Jews 1 
Surely 'twere well that one mad man should die. 
And not the whole people perish utterly. 



ON A MADONNA AND CHILD OF BELLINI 

Ybaes pass and change ; mother and child remain : 

Mother so proudly sad, so sadly wise. 

With perfect face and wonderful calm eyes, 

Full of a mute expectancy of pain : 

Child of whose love the mother seems so fain. 

Looking far off, as if in other skies 

He saw the hill of crucifixion rise, 

And knew the horror, and would not refrain. 

Yet all that pain is over in very deed, 
And only love shines from those eyes alway ; 
Love to fulfil the world's enormous need. 
Light to illuminate the devious way, 
Still brighter as the centuries recede. 
And more and more unto the perfect day. 



84 RELIGIOUS PIECES 



DOUBT 

O THAT we too, above this earthly jar 
One clear command obeying, we too might 
Our path preordinate direct aright, 
Moving in music where the planets are ; 
Or motionless like to a fixed star 
Might wait and watch above this weary night 
The far-off coming of the morning light. 
His feet upon the eastern hills afar. 

Alas, alas ! bewildered, desolate, 
A horror of thick darkness wraps us round, 
And some sit sadly down and weep and wait. 
And some fall headlong in the gulf profound. 
And some creep on by their own torches' blaze : — 
O sun, shine forth, as in the ancient days. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 



UNUEE THE CANOPY 

Yes, it is good for us that we are here ; 
Scarlet, and blue, and purple in the sky. 
The covering of the holy sanctuary. 
By day obscured, at last by night shines clear. 
Lo, yonder sinking sun is flaming there 
In evening sacrifice to God most high, 
And yonder moon is praying quietly. 
And her one star holdeth his taper near. 

Yes, good for us, albeit men may say 

Could we climb higher past the paths of men, 

Vague mists would shew for all that fine linen. 

And all that purple and scarlet turn to grey. 

It may be, yet for us they keep their hue, 

And if thou climb beyond, there is stUl the blue. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 



KNOWLEDGE AFTER DEATH 

SlOOINE sepa/rat amara mors ? 

Is death bo bitter ? Can it shut us fast 

Off from ourselves, that future from this past, 

When time compels us through those narrow doors 1 

Must we supplanted by ourselves in the course, 

Changelings, become as they who know at last 

A river's secret, never having cast 

One guess, or known one doubt, about its source ? 

Is it so bitter ? Does not knowledge here 
Forget her gradual growth, and how each day 
Seals up the sum of each world-conscious soul ? 
So tho" our ghosts forget us, waste no tear ; 
We, being ourselves, would gladly be as they, 
And we, being they, are still ourselves made whole. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 87 



CEEATION 

God said, and the light was, and the light said, 
" Lo, I am God " ; and the light changed and died, 
And grew a great tree which on every side 
Thrust out and would have filled the earth, but 

stayed. 
Finding itself not God ; and there was made 
A little bird with a shrill voice that cried, 
" God, God, God, God," till evening, when its pride 
Breathed itself out at a man's feet dismayed : 

And Adam said, " I, I am God," and ate 
And saw that he was naked, and for shame 
He died like the poor bird ; and him did Seth 
Hide underground with Abel, and then wait 
Wondering if he were God, or if there came 
One mightier who would not let slip God's breath. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 



A SONG OF THE THEEE KINGS 

"And finding by the sudden waning of the brightest star 
that the Blessed Virgin was sick, they made haste to take all 
manner of healing herbs and depart to Nazareth. But when 
they found her already dead, they returned sorrowfully to 
their own country."— fltstorj^ of the. Three, Kings. 

Shi: is dead, ah, she is dead, 

Silent is that gentle breath. 
Still and low that golden head. 

That sweet mouth is stopped in death. 
Wherefore now we bring to her 
GkJd and frankincense and myrrh. 

She is dead, yes, she is dead, 

Never may we see again 
Purest, holiest maidenhead, 

Mother without spot or stain. 
Mid the sleeping lilies fold 

Myrrh and frankincense and gold. 

Lo, we come from very far 
With all simples that we have, 

Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, 
Ah, we came too late to save. 

Scatter we ere we go hence 

Gold and myrrh and frankincense. 



RELIGIOUS PIECES 



FKOM THE ITALIAN OF GIOVANNI DELL' 
ISOLA 

" Th£BE shall be no more sea," the prophet saith, 
Beyond the dark and silent strait of death, 

Purple like wine, or blue as summer skies, 
Or fleecy -white beneath the Nereids' breath. 

Methinks the aged seer in some strange wise 
Was rapt into Love's inmost Paradise, 

And saw the Apocalypse of heaven afar. 
Gazing in Love's unfathomable eyes ; 

Eyes of fine fire that weeping cannot mar. 
More clear and crystalline than any star. 

O Love, in heaven what need of any sea ? 
Thine eyes are deeper than the deep seas are. 

Thy voice reverberates aU the mystery 
And music of all waters that can be : 

Voices like flutes blown soft in unison, 
And thunders of tempestuous harmony. 



90 RELIGIOUS PIECES 

O Love, what need have we of any sun 
Or moon in thine own city, whereupon 

The light shed from thy bright hair's aureole 
Makes pale the lustrous candles round thy throne. 

O Love, with hair aflame and shining stole. 
Who rose with wing'd feet from the flash and roll 

Of waters where yet all things were as one. 
First of the Gods and Saviour of the soul ? 



SEPAEATION 

Quis ddbit mihi pennas sicut columbae, et volaho, et 
requiescam 

Lex us not strive, the world at least is wide ; 
This way and that our difierent paths divide. 
Perhaps to meet upon the further side. 

We must not strive j friends cannot change to foes ; 

O yes, we love ; albeit winter snows 

Cover the flowers, the flowers are there, God knows. 

And yet I would it had been any one 

Only not thou, my companion, 

My guide, mine own familiar friend, mine own ! 



TRANSLATIONS 



THE SWALLOW SONG 

Sung hy Greek hoys from door to door when thef/rst 
swallow came over sea 

Come, come is the swallow, 
With fair spring to follow. 
She and the fair weather ■ 
Are come along together. 
White is her breast, 
And black all the rest. 

Boll us a cake 

Out of the door 

From your rich store 

For the swallow's sake, — 

And wine in a flasket, 

And cheese in a basket, 

And wheat-bread and rye, 

These the swallow will not put by. 

Will you give us or shall we go 
If you will, why rest you so ; 



94 TRANSLATIONS 

But and if you shall say us nay, 
Then we •will carry the door away, 
Or the lintel above it, or easiest of all 
Your wife within, for she is but small 
Give us our need 
And take God speed. 
Open door to the swallow then, 
For we are children and not old men. 



FKOM ALCMAN 

Maidens with voices like honey for sweetness, that 

breathe desire, 
See I faint ; for no sea-bird I, as I would be, nor 

tire 
Over the foam-flowers flying with halcyons ever on 

wing, 
Keeping a careless heart, a sea-blue bird of the 

Spring. 



TRANSLATIONS 95 



FKOM SAPPHO 

When thou fallest in death, dead thou shalt lie, nor 

shall thy memory 
Henceforth ever again ever be heard then or in 

days to be, 
Since no flowers upon earth ever were thine, plucked 

from Pieria's spring, 
Unknown also 'mid hell's shadowy throng thou 

shalt go wandering. 



FEOM CALLIMACHUS 

O ir swift ships had never, had never sailed the 

sea, 
Poor child of Diocleides, we had not wept for thee ; 
But now thy body is drifting on some unknown 

abyss, 
And this thy name and empty tomb is all of ' 

Sopolis. 



96 TRANSLATIONS 

FEOM MENANDER 

Him I call happiest, Parmeno, 

Who having seen this solemn show, 

The common sun, the clouds, the sea. 

The stars and fire, not painfully. 

Goes quickly back from whence he came. 

For you would see them still the same 

If you abode for two or three 

Short years, or for a century ; 

But grander sights you would not see. 

FROM LEONIDAS 

Now is the time to sail, for home 

The twittering swallow now has come, 

And Zephyr bloweth graciously. 

Yea, and the meads are fair to see, 

With spring-flowers, and the ocean still, 

Where late the fierce waves worked their will 

And the wild wind went winnowing. 

Heave up the anchor. Shoreward fling 

The hawser, pilot, and make sail 

With canvas spread for every gale. 

'Tis I Priapus bid thee this, 

O man, whose charge the harbour is. 

So may'st thou sail to every sea. 

And bring thy merchandise with thee. 



TRAXSLATIOXS 97 



FROM THEOCeiTUS 

Hate a, care of Ufe, O man. 
Seeing how small is all its spaa. 

In ibe season of fierce 'weadno', 
Fnt not oat to sea. 
Lest tlioa perish as did he, 

Ship and man together. 
F<^ he hasted wiUioat caie 
To bring home his Syrian ware. 
Home to 13iaso6 beantifiil — 
OeonicDS nuseraMe ! 
When the Ileiades 'gan sink 

Hepnt ffHTtfa on stmany seas, 
Bnt nevesr reached the fortfa^ brink, 

SSnking -with the Heiades. 



TRANSLATIONS 



FROM MELEAGER 



I WILL twine the violet, 
And with soft narcissus set 
Laughing lilies, and with these 
Myrtles and sweet crocuses, 
Hyacinth that purple blows, 
And the lover-loving rose. 
These for garlands wiU I pour 
On thy head, my HeUodore, 
On thy locks of curling hair. 
On thy tresses sweet with myrrh. 



O pour the wine, and as you pour. 
Say HeUodore, Eeliodore, 
Ever and ever, o'er and o'er. 

And bring a chaplet for my hair, 
Yesterday's chaplet, sweet with myrrh. 
To wear in memory of her. 



TRANSLATIONS 

Ah, look, the lover's rose distrest. 
Is weeping now to see her rest 
Otherwhere, not upon my breast. 



III. 

Tears, bitter tears, all I can give, 
Tears to the depths to thee I pour. 
To thee in Hades, Heliodore, 

All of my love that there may live. 

The tearfull'st tears I pour to thee. 
Tears of libation, wept above 
Thy tomb in memory of my love. 

In memory of thy love to me. 

Ah, with what sighs, with what tears shed, 

I, Meleager, mourn thy face, 

To Acheron a bootless grace. 
To me still dear among the dead. 

Alas, my blossom, whither must 
I seek thee now ? Hades it is, 
Hades hath snatched away my bliss, 

And trod the perfect flower to dust. 



im TRANSLATIONS 

Yet shall not tears disturb thy rest ; 
Bather, I pray thee, mother earth, 
Our mother thou, who gav'st us birth, 

To fold her gently to thy breast. 



Bridegroom none but death alone 
Has my Clearista won. 
So to loose her virgin zone. 

Yester eve the flutes blew sweet. 
Bridegroom and the bride to greet, 
And the bridal doors were beat. 

Now at dawn they sound again, 
But another sadder strain, 
Hymen's song is hushed in pain ; 

And the torch that flared so gay, 
Lighting up her bride's array. 
Lit the dead her downward way. 

V. 

Now white violets blow, and blows 
The narcissus in the showers 
And the mountain-wandering 



TRANSLATIONS 101 

Lily, and at last the rose, 

Loving lovers, even she, 

Peitho's child, Zenophile, 

Flower of spring and flower of flowers, 

Buddeth, sweetly blossoming. 

Meadows, tho' your flowers are bright. 

The' you laugh, your laugh is light, 

For the maid is rarer far 

Than your sweetest garlands are. 



VI. 

Love I cry, the truant love. 

Now, but now at break of day 
Did he from his couch remove, 

Spread his wings and fly away. 

Ever-prattling is the child. 
Sweetly tearful, laughing-sly. 

Quiver-girt, of spirit wild. 
Swift of foot and swift to fly. 

Who his father none can tell. 
Heaven and earth profess to me 

They are not responsible 
For this brave ; so says the sea. 



102 TRANSLATIONS 

All men hate him everywhere. 

Look you well in every part, 
Lest unseen he lay a snare, 

Gentle hearer, for your heart. 

Ah, the archer ! there he lies. 
Hid beneath my mistress' brow, 

In the shadow of her eyes. 
Darting at me even now. 

VII. 

He shall be sold, even on his mother's breast 
As he lies ; yes, sold ; why should I rear him, pray? 

A snub-nosed, impudent rascal at the best. 
" ' Has wings and dimples," you say ! 

He can scratch, I know, and blubber, the shameless 
chit ; 
And his tongue is never still, nor his eyes : nay, 
nay. 
He is fierce to his own mother ; depend on it, 
A wild thing, every way. 

So sell hiTTi ; an out-bound merchant who wants to 
buy 

A boy may take him and welcome ; O I say. 
He's crying ; dear, dear ! well, I won't ; don't cry, 

'Shall stay with mamma, 'shall stay. 



TRANSLATIONS 103 

Tin. 
" The die is cast ! a torch ! I will abroad ! 
Coragio." — '"Sayst thou, drunkard, what's thy 

mind?"— 
" To revel."—" Kevel ? have thy wits resigned 1 " 
" What's wit to love ? Thy torch and quickly ! the 

road ! "— 
"And your philosophy, where lies its use?" — 
" Ah, great the toil to win, what now I lose 1 " 
Know then that Love sways even wisest Zeus." 



The windy winter from the sky is gone. 

The purple spring-time brings the flowers with 
glee, 
The wan earth puts her grassy garland on. 

And fresh leaves deck each quick'ning plant and 
tree. 
Fed by soft dew-drops of the genial dawn. 

With opening roses all the meadows smile, 
Clear pipes the shepherd on the mountain-lawn, 

And grey-haired kids the goat-herd's heart beguile. 
Now o'er the sea's broad back the sailors fare, 

Unwearied Zephyr fills the swelling sail ; 
Now, wreaths of clustering ivy in their hair, 

To the grape-giver Bacchants shout all hail ; 



304 TRANSLATIONS 

New-born from out the teeming heifer's womb 

The hived bees their curious labour ply, 
And in the fretted hollows of the comb 

The white fresh-flowing honey-drops lay by. 
Now every tribe of birds sings clear and shrill, 

The twitt'ring household swallow in the dale. 
The halcyon and the swan on wave and rill, 

And shadoVd in the grove the nightingale. 
If then the forest boughs and leaves rejoice. 

If earth has burgeon'd and the shepherd sings, 
And fleecy flocks make merry with one voice. 

And sailors go on their sea- wanderings, 
When Dionysus leads his jocund quire. 

And winged songsters tune their various lay, 
And bees go labouring on and never tire, 

Why should the singer only not be gay ? 



TRANSLATIONS 105 



FKOM SOPHOCLES 

My fortune circles ever in the pace 

Of God's revolving wheel, 
And all its nature changes with its place. 

Like as for no two nights the moon's wan face 

Can keep the same form still ; 
But first from out the unseen to birth is brought 

Then grows in grace and night by night 
enspheres, 

Till when the fulness of her prime appears, 
She dwindles back and comes again to nought. 



106 TRANSLATIONS 



FEOM THE ILIAD 
The Greek and TrCfjan armies join battle 

As when sea-waves upon a sounding shore 
Kiss wave on wave, the west wind blows them up, 
First out at sea a crest, and at the end 
A breaker loudly bellowing on the beach, 
And round the capes a crescent mounting high 
Spitting sea-froth ; so ever wave on wave 
The Danaan army moved along to war. 
Each chief called to his men ; and they moved on, 
A great crowd following dumbly. You would say 
In all their hearts there was no human voice. 
Silent they watched the signals, and on all 
Shone dazzling armour, as they moved in rank. 

But as when sheep stand in some rich man's fold 
Ten thousand, and white milk is drawn from them. 
They bleat the while, hearing the bleating lambs. 
So of the Trojans thro' the broad array 
A tumult rose, for not to all alike 
Was one same speech or voice, but mixed their 
tongue 



TRANSLATIONS 107 

Summoned from many lands ; these Ares roused, 
Grey-eyed Athene those, and Dread and Fear 
And Discord sister of Ares, slayer of men, 
Bestless and eager, ever by his side. 
Small is her stature first, but at the end 
Her feet move on the earth, her head strikes heaven. 
She moved then down the midst, and thro' the host 
Cast mutual hate, and increase of men's groans. 

So when they came together to one place, 
Shield clashed on shield, and spears and strength 

of men 
In brazen armour clanged, and bossy shields 
Closed on each other, and there rose a roar. 
And with it cries and prayers of those who slew 
And those they slew, and the earth ran with blood. 
And as when winter torrents down the hills 
Bush from their mighty founts where two glens 

meet, 
And the strong streams meet in the deep ravine. 
And shepherds hear the thunder on the hills, 
Such was the roar and stress of meeting men. 



TV Of the poems in this volume, a few appeared 
in Love in Idleness (Kegan Paul & Co.) ; a few others 
in Love's Looking Glass (Bivington, Percival & tM.) ; 
and one. No. xvi. of those called "In a Garden," in 
the National Observer: these last are here reprinted 
by the courtesy of the publishers. 



TDBHBULL AKD SFEARS, PKIHTERS, BDIITBUKOH. 



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In a garden, and other poems. 



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